Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Here we have a morality which is based entirely upon our thirst for distinction—do not therefore entertain too high an opinion of it!  Indeed we may well ask what kind of an impulse it is and what is its fundamental signification?  It is sought by our appearance to grieve other people to arouse his envy and to awaken his feelings of impotence and degradation; we endeavour to make him taste the bitterness of his fate by dropping a little of our honey on his tongue and while conferring this supposed benefit on him looking sharply and triumphantly into his eyes.  Behold such a man now become humble and perfect in his humility—and seek those for whom through his humility he has for a long time been preparing a torture; for you are sure to find them!  Here is another man who shows mercy towards animals and is admired for doing so—but there are certain people on whom he wishes to vent his cruelty by this very means.  Look at that great artist: the pleasure he enjoyed beforehand in conceiving the envy of the rivals he had outstripped refused to let his powers lie dormant until he became a great man—how many bitter moments in the souls of other men has he asked for as payment for his own greatness!  The nun's chastity: with what threatening eyes she looks into the faces of other women who live differently from her! What a vindictive joy shines in those eyes!    The theme is short and its variations though they might well be innumerable could not easily become tiresome for it is still too paradoxical a novelty and almost a painful one to affirm that the morality of distinction is nothing at bottom but joy in refined cruelty.  When I say "at bottom" I mean here every time in the first generation.  For when the habit of some distinguished action becomes hereditary the thought behind it is not inherited (for only feelings and not thoughts can become hereditary): and if we presuppose that this is not reintroduced by education in the second generation the joy in the cruelty is no longer felt: but only pleasure in the habit as such.  This pleasure however is the first stage of the "good.  
 

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